Guns seized in raids

Total of 49 charges laid as part of Summer Safety Initiative investigation

In just a week’s time, police seized four weapons, drugs, cash, and made six arrests, all in 54 and 55 Divisions.

From July 29 to Aug. 5, local division officers, as well as those from the Organized Crime Enforcement Unit, Drug Squad, and Emergency Task Force, made the arrests during various unrelated search warrants.

These arrests could be due in part to what Deputy Chief of Police Peter Sloly said is their Summer Safety Initiative, which was designed to have an increased number of officers on patrol in the wake of a series of shootings and murders one week in July.

“We have already put out additional resources since July 20 in each of the divisions using premium pay to bring officers back from their time off to focus on crime management at the local level,” he said on July 27, adding that it was aimed at targeting violent crime, gun crime and gang-related crime.

The recent arrests saw a total of 49 charges laid, mostly for gun and drug-related crimes. Of the four guns seized, three were loaded.

The first arrest occurred on July 29, when officers executed a search warrant at a home on Rexleigh Drive near St. Clair and O’Connor. At that home, police found a sawed-off bolt-action rifle, a loaded .762 rifle with six rounds of ammunition, and other ammunition. Gordon Warner, 37, faces 12 charges, including two counts each of unauthorized possession of a firearm and possession of a firearm obtained by the commission of an offence, indicating the weapons are likely stolen or purchased illegally.

On July 31, police made three arrests following a drug investigation, wherein the three accused are alleged to have sold cocaine and heroin to an undercover officer near Broadview and Danforth avenues. Christopher Baptiste, 51, is facing 11 charges, Michael Pham, 19, is facing five, and Jonathon Lau, 18, is facing three. All charges are related to either trafficking drugs or the possession of drugs or the proceeds of crime.

Police took a loaded handgun off the street on Aug. 5, when they pulled over a car near Danforth and Greenwood avenues because they believed a man inside had a firearm. During the man’s arrest, police found the handgun and charged 22-year-old Nikko Jovan Vassoo Narine with eight firearm-related offences, including possession of a prohibited weapon with ammunition and possessing a gun contrary to a prohibition order.

Finally, on the same day, police officers executed a search warrant on a home on Munro Street in South Riverdale. Upon entering the house, a man allegedly ran to a room upstairs, and was found on a balcony trying to get rid of a handgun. Police arrested the man and found a gun on an adjacent rooftop. The man faces 10 charges, including possession of a restricted weapon, altering defacing or removing a serial number from a firearm and possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking. Charged is 22-year-old Costain Matthew.

During that same week, police also reissued an outstanding arrest warrant for a 30-year-old man who is wanted in connection with police raid that targeted weapon trafficking back in November on Goodwood Park Court in Crescent Town. During the raid, police found a Tech 9 sub-machine gun and dozens of stun guns disguised as cellphones. Keri McKnight is wanted for possession of a prohibited weapon and careless storage of a firearm.

About this article:

By: Shawn Star
Posted: Aug 23 2012 1:18 pm
Filed in: NEWS
Edition: Toronto